Water Heater Maintenance
Regular water heater maintenance is not hard but often neglected. It is cheaper to regularly maintain the water heater than purchase a new replacement. If left alone (without regular maintenance) your water heater will not exceed to its life expectancy. A typical water heater can last 10 years up to 13 years. However, if properly maintained, it will increase the operating efficiency and longevity. It can exceed 15 years for a tank model and up to 20 years for the tankless type.
Importance of Water Heater Maintenance
We want to have a reliable water heater in our household. Overtime, your water heater will build up sediment, debris, and minerals in the bottom of the tank. If they are neglected, it will cause several problems and eventually will die out. Regular maintenance will prevent this from happening. Unmaintained water heaters will have several disadvantages. Here are some idea:
- Reduce the efficiency. Sediment and mineral build up will cause your water heater work harder. Inefficiency will result to a wasted energy and higher bill. In cold climates, the water heater is the second largest energy user in the house. With regular maintenance and inspection, it will increase the efficiency and life of your water heater.
- Several repairs. Unmaintained water heater will need more repairs. A little problem, if not checked right away will further the damage. More repair means more expenses. Repairs are costly, with proper maintenance and regular inspection, you can avoid the costly repairs.
- Decrease life expectancy. It is easier to regularly maintained the water heater than to purchase and replace a new one. Water heater life will exceed to its expectancy if maintenance is not neglected.
How to maintain a water heater?
- Flush the tank regularly. The purpose of flushing is to eliminate the sediment that has build up in the bottom. This sediment can cause inefficiency of the burner. Also, it causes a rumbling and annoying sounds. Sediment can also be a breeding place for bacteria that causes the water to smell like rotten eggs. Flushing every once a year is beneficial for the water heating system. New years day is a great time to do flushing.
- Testing the valve. The temperature and pressure-relief valve is to keep the water from exploding. Testing this valve every six months will reduce the chance of leaking due to the mineral and corrosion build up. Testing means to raise and lower the lever in the valve. This action will produce a sudden burst of hot water from the drain line connected to the valve. If you did not hear the gurgling sound, it means this valve is broken. Be very careful not to splash the very hot water on any people or pets.
- Inspect the anode rod. Experts say that it is beneficial to inspect the anode rod once a year or at least once every three years. The anode rod is also known as a sacrificial anode to prevent the tank from deteriorating. Since anode rod is made of aluminum, zinc or magnesium, it attracts corrosive elements. So instead of attacking the tank, the anode rod will get the elements. Overtime, it will deteriorate. The Anode rod should be replaced once every three years or five years or often when water is more corrosive. After flushing, it is a great time to check the anode rod. Replacing this will prevent the water heater from rusting through prematurely.
- Lower the temperature. Turning the temperature down to 120 is beneficial for you and the heating system. It will prevent the tank from overheating and save energy. Also, it is the right temperature for shower and faucet to prevent scalding. Though dishwashers need a higher temperature, a booster can take that job or some dishwashers have built-in booster. Check the dishwasher manual.
- Refer to your manufacturer’s manual. Whatever the type or model of your water heater, it goes along with manufacturer’s manual. Refer to it for trouble shooting, maintenance, safety instruction, and others. It is a good idea to tape the manual to the side of the water heater in a zip lock bag.
To keep your water heater running smoothly and efficiently, keep it well maintained. If you are experiencing problems with your water heater right now, call us for assistance!